Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Earl Phalen ’89 Named NCAA Silver Anniversary Award Winner

Earl Phalen ’89 Named NCAA Silver Anniversary Award Winner

One Of Six Former Student Athletes Selected

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Earl Martin Phalen '89, a basketball player at Yale who went on to become a pioneer in the education field following graduation, is one of six former student-athletes to be selected as recipients of the 2014 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.

Phalen, who walked on to the basketball team, credits being a member of the Yale Basketball team as playing a significant role in his successes as a student, and later, as a professional. Phalen is founder and CEO of Summer Advantage USA, a summer reading program that partners with school districts to provide quality summer learning programs for children in grades K-8. The program is one of only two scientifically validated models in the country and spurred federal legislation to replicate the model nationwide.

Continuing his focus on education, Phalen founded the George and Veronica Phalen Leadership Academies, named for his parents. These academies are blended learning K-12 charter schools in Indiana, and they are projected to ultimately serve more than 10,000 students each year.

Phalen is also the founder and CEO of Building Educated Leaders for Life, which operates summer and after-school education programs in major U.S. cities. The organization now educates 15,000 students annually.

Among other achievements, Phalen was awarded the President's Service Award in 1997 by President Bill Clinton for outstanding community service. He is also a Mind Trust and Ashoka Fellow, was awarded the Black Entertainment Television Shine a Light Hero Award, and is a three-time recipient of Fast Company's Social Capitalist Award.

The other five recipients are Troy Aikman (UCLA), Rodney Peete (USC), George Pyne (Brown), Katey Stone (New Hampshire) and Dara Torres (Florida).

Phalen is the 14th Yale graduate to be named a Silver Anniversary Award winner. The last was basketball player Butch Graves '84 in 2009.

The Silver Anniversary Award annually recognizes distinguished individuals on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their college athletics careers. The Honors Committee, comprised of representatives of NCAA member schools and nationally prominent former student-athletes, selects each year's recipients.

The NCAA will recognize the honorees at the Honors Celebration during the 2014 NCAA Convention in San Diego, Calif.

Yale's Silver Anniversary Award Winners


    Tone N. Grant '66 (football/lacrosse)

    Business & Finance


     Donald A. Schollander '68 (swimming)



     Calvin Hill '69 (football)

     Professional Sports/Business


    Kwaku Ohene-Frempong '70 (soccer/track)



     Kurt L. Schmoke '71 (football/lacrosse)

     Law and Public Service


     Jack Ford '72 (football)



     Lawrie Mifflin '73 (field hockey)



    Lisa Rosenblum '75 (tennis)

     Business/Public Service


     Virginia Gilder '79 (rowing)



     Gary Lawrence '80 (ice hockey/golf)



    Susan D. Wellington '81(swimming/softball)



     Patricia Melton '82 (track)

     Educational Entrepreneur


     Earl "Butch" Graves Jr. '84 (basketball)



     Earl Martin Phalen '89 (basketball)

     Education Reform

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity